Wednesday, August 28, 2013

CELTIC IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GLORY AGAIN





NEIL LENNON LURGAN CELT






CELTIC 3 (Commons 45, Samaras 48, Forrest 90)
SHAKHTER KARAGANDY 0

There have been more cultured European nights in the east end of Glasgow but this theatre of football has rarely seen such a dramatic game and finale.
Goals either side of half-time had given Neil Lennon’s side a Champions League reprieve but the tie was heading into overtime when James Forrest struck and Celtic Park exploded.
The home side were often utterly dominant but unable to finish off a side hoping to give Kazakhstan representation in the group stage for the first time.
The visitors were themselves unlucky not to score a crushing away goal midway through the second half but will have to content themselves with a place in the Europa Cup.
Celtic, making three changes from the first leg, had the obvious intent of testing Aleksandr Mokin as early as possible but the Shakhter goalkeeper, whose handling had been woeful in Astana, responded well.
Mikael Lustig’s far post header from a Kris Commons cross had the crowd on their feet but Mokin punched the ball over the bar.
Although Fraser Forster had to stretch low to save a shot from Sergei Khizhnichenko, Celtic continued to pound the Shakhter penalty box with shots and crosses.
Forrest forced another save from Mokin and the goalkeeper continued to dispel the image he had presented in the home game when he palmed away another goal-bound effort, this time from the lively Anthony Stokes.

Wicked free kick
Next up in the effort to secure the relaxant of an early goal was Commons with a wicked free kick which Mokin, not so convincingly this time, pushed to safety.
It seemed Celtic must score but somehow the Kazakhstan side survived. With half an hour played there was a reminder of the doomsday scenario for the home side of a Shakhter away goal when Aldin Dzidic headed over Forster’s bar.
Encouraged, the visitors enjoyed their best spell of the half with Lustig required to block a Khizhnichenko attempt.
Both Celtic and the crowd were subdued and the game entering injury-time when Commons gloriously transformed a fruitless first half by unleashing a venomous shot from 25 yards to put his side unexpectedly, if deservedly, ahead.
The psychological impact of the goal negated any need for Lennon to give a state of the nation address in the home dressing room at half time.
If anything his players started the second period even more pumped up than they had been in the first and this time they got their reward quickly.
Just three minutes, and much Celtic pressing, were on the clock when Lustig’s shot from the edge of the box landed at the feet of Georgios Samaras.

Close range
From close range he put Celtic level on aggregate with almost the whole of the second half to find the third which, if not responded to at the other end, would take the Glasgow club into the group stage for a second successive season.
They very nearly got that goal when Forrest sent over a teasing cross which found Stokes unmarked at the far post. He should have buried it but instead his right foot volley hit the bar.
Just how vulnerable Celtic’s position was couldn’t have been more vividly illustrated than in the next two minutes.
First Adam Matthews, guarding the far post, had to desperately scoop Dzidic’s net-bound shot off the line and then Shakhter came even closer.
In the first game the long throws into the box of Gediminas Vicius had caused the Celtic defence undue problems and there was a mighty sigh of relief when Khizhnichenko’s effort from another hit the bar.
Even if they did not score, the visitors made it clear they were not going to roll over and provided a timely warning to Celtic that they could not attack with abandon in pursuit of the third goal.
With the game ebbing and flowing more evenly than at any other point the spectacle was gripping, both teams aware that one slip would consign them to the Europa League.
Almost unbelievably, lightning struck twice as the game went into injury-time with an extra 30 minutes, and possibly penalties as well, looming. This time it was Forrest, who had been lively but often lacking a finishing flourish, who redeemed himself by sweeping home Stokes’ low cut back and send Celtic Park into raptures.
Guardian Service




Green Brigade






SUPPORT MARTIN COREY A LIFE LONG LURGAN CELTIC FAN



From Wikipedia,



Green Brigade
Formation 2006
Type Ultras group, football supporters group (Celtic F.C.)
Location Glasgow, Scotland


The Green Brigade are an ultras group consisting of supporters of the Scottish Football Club Celtic.

The group were formed in 2006 and describe themselves as a "a broad front of anti-fascist, anti-racist and anti-sectarian Celtic supporters".[1] They are situated in section 111 ofCeltic Park. The Green Brigade have organised various displays at Celtic matches involving banners, flags and demonstrations which have been credited with improving the atmosphere at Celtic Park.[2]


Green Brigade display on 13 August 2011

Contents
1 Controversy and Reports of Disorder
2 Poppy protest
3 Palestinian Hunger Strike Solidarity Display
4 Appreciation from Celtic Manager Neil Lennon
5 125th Anniversary Display
6 Fans Against Criminalisation Protests
7 References
Controversy and Reports of Disorder[edit source | editbeta]

At a match against Dundee United in November 2010, there was serious disorder in the section occupied by the Green Brigade when a supporter was being ejected by stewards.[3] Supporters charged at the security guards and one was left with a bloody lip after a coin was reportedly thrown.[3]

In April 2011 at the Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen police officers attempted to remove a supporter who had set off a flare inside the stadium.[4][5] Police were unable to remove the supporter because other fans held onto him.[4] Four supporters were later held by police in connection with the incident.[4] More than 100 Green Brigade members walked out of the stadium in protest of the arrests.[4][5]

In April 2011 some members of the Green Brigade were not sent season ticket renewal forms after the club threatened to disperse the group around other sections of the stadium.[2][4]

UEFA head of communications William Gaillard, when talking about the matter in 2006, said that IRA chanting was not sectarian, and was a nationalist issue - similar to fans of other clubs, such as Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, who support nationalist movements in their own countries. He also stated that only in Balkan countries, where some fans show support for organisations that had engaged in ethnic cleansing, was the situation different because these organisations were by their nature discriminatory. He said that this did not apply to the IRA..[6]

Former Celtic manager David Hay has called for singing of IRA anthems to be banned,[7] while current Celtic manager Neil Lennon has also said that IRA chants "embarrass" the club.[8]
Poppy protest[edit source | editbeta]

At a match against Aberdeen in November 2010, the Green Brigade unfurled two banners with the words "Your deeds would shame all the devils in hell. Ireland Iraq Afghanistan. No bloostained poppy on our hoops.[sic]"[9][10] This protest was against the placing of theremembrance poppy on Celtic's shirt for the 11 November 2010 match against St. Mirren. This unfathomable act confused those Celtic supporters who have and who do serve in the Armed Forces and those who wish to show respect for the sacrifice of those Celtic supporters who have lost their lives in the service of their country.

The Green Brigade cited civilian deaths caused by the Armed Forces in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as Bloody Sunday, highlighting the fact that the report "confirmed that 14 unarmed civilians were murdered in Derry in 1972 by the Paratroop Regiment".[11]

The Glasgow Herald reported that in the weeks leading up to the incident, the Green Brigade had stepped up pro-IRA chants.[12]Celtic has been investigated by UEFA in the past for alleged sectarian behaviour, including pro-IRA chants.[13]
Palestinian Hunger Strike Solidarity Display[edit source | editbeta]

It was reported on the Al Jazeera website that on Celtic's last game of the 2011-12 season the Green Brigade organised a display of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike. This featured a banner reading "Dignity is More Precious than Food" alongside a flurry of Palestinian flags. A spokesman for the ultras groups is reported to have stated: "We did this in solidarity, to raise awareness and because it's the right thing to do. We want Palestinians to know we are thinking about them and encourage Scottish civil society to look at the injustice in Palestine."[14]
Appreciation from Celtic Manager Neil Lennon[edit source | editbeta]

After this last match of the season Celtic manager Neil Lennon presented the SPL trophy to the Green Brigade by placing it in front of the section where they sit. He later said, "I just wanted to say thank you to them because they have, week in, week out, created a great atmosphere. They sing non-stop. They add colour. Sometimes they are a little bit controversial but in the main they have behaved themselves impeccably and they have changed the culture of the stadium. It’s a fun place to come for the supporters and the atmosphere in the big games has been fantastic. They are the catalyst for all of that."[15]



125th Anniversary Display[edit source | editbeta]

In November 2012, the Green Brigade organised a fulll stadium pre-match card display against Barcelona to celebrate Celtic's 125th anniversary.[16] The display featured a Celtic cross, green and white hoops and 125 Celtic in written form, with supporters earning the praise of club chairman Peter Lawwell.[17]
Fans Against Criminalisation Protests[edit source | editbeta]

On 6 April 2013, the Green Brigade took part in a demonstration comprising 3000 Celtic supporters as part of Fans Against Criminalisation, a body comprising the Green Brigade, the Celtic Trust, Celtic Supporters Association, the Affiliation of Registered Celtic Supporters Clubs and the Association of Irish Celtic Supporters Clubs. Although the march to Celtic Park after the demonstration had not been granted permission, raising concerns about dispersal amongst police. After the event Police Scotland said they were "delighted" by the conduct of the protestors.[18] The protest was organised after a previous march that had not received council permission was broken up by police on the 16th March. [19] This initial protest had been called over supporters receiving bans and what was described as "harassment by the police". The Green Brigade announced on its website that it would be holding a "corteo to Celtic Park to raise awareness and show support for the growing list of Celtic supporters receiving and facing bans from both the Club and the PF. It is no secret the level of harrassment many fans receive at the hands of Strathclyde Police nor is Celtic PLCs complicity able to be ignored. As such there is an ever growing list of fans being denied their passion of following their team."[20] Fans took to social media after the initial protest, posting pictures of mounted police and a group of supporters surrounded by police with batons being prevented from leaving the area.[21] Celtic fans felt that the initial demonstration had been improperly policed and turned out to show their support for those demonstrators.[22]
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